GA - Priest who worked in Atlanta area is accused; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell,SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Catholic officials in Baltimore and Springfield MA are disclosing credible child sex abuse allegations against Fr. Michael Kolodziej who belongs to a religious order called the Franciscans and who worked at St. Philip Benizi Parish in Jonesboro, GA from 2010 until his recent suspension.
We urge Archbishop Wilton Gregory to post notices about Fr. Michael Kolodziej read at all Atlanta archdiocesan parishes.
While he may have been assigned to one church, we strongly suspect that Fr. Kolodziej spent at least some time at three or four other Atlanta area parishes. We believe notices should be read at churches throughout the archdiocese and posted in their bulletins.
We also urge Gregory will personally go to each parish where Fr. Kolodziej worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police.
Those who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups must be gently but repeatedly prodded to do their civic and moral duty.
Posting a notice on a church website is easy. Personally taking steps to find and help victims should be easy, too. Both should be done, for the safety of kids, the healing of victims and the achieving of justice.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.